Sunday, September 29, 2013

Emptying the kiln....#1

Before annealing, lampwork beads can be unstable; the process of heating and cooling glass at different rates means that a change in ambient temperature can cause the glass to crack -- or even explode. To prevent this, lampworkers anneal their beads. In a kiln that looks like a large toolbox, I heat the beads to 940 degrees F, and hold the temp their for half an hour, before slowly ramping the temp down. This removes those internal stresses.

So when I say I've emptied the kiln, it's not really like emptying a potter's kiln. The beads look the same; the differences are internal.

So, down to business: I usually "batch-anneal" my beads, meaning that I do them all at once instead of annealing directly after making the beads, while they are still hot. Here's what I just took out; the result of perhaps 3-4 days' work.

Click on the pics to get a larger version.

You see some Coral Islands, Blue Brilliance, Red Stripies, Teal Stripies, Peak Fall and swirled green beads (taking submissions for naming those beads now!)

Of the beads shown, the Coral Islands, being dotty beads, take the longest to make. Each color represents an individually placed dot!

More fun unpacking the kiln in a few days!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bead designs: Earrings!

My latest strand of earring me if you'd like to order matching earring beads in any style you see.

Bead Designs: Power

Yes, power! We've documented instances of jewelry made of these beads actually bestowing great power on the wearer. You have to feel it to believe it!

Bead Designs: Peak Fall

Inspired by the colors of Central Maine!

Bead Designs: Fields of Green

Fields of Green come in many different shades. I show you two styles here.



Bead Designs: Distinctive Dots

First, and one of my favorites: Distinctive Dots! 

Welcome to the Molten Mama Blog!

Introducing Molten Mama...AKA Lisa Cooley, lampworker from the Maine woods of Waldo County.

I'd like to show you my stuff.

You can order any number of beads in any of the bead styles listed here. I'll send you pictures of the exact beads you are purchasing, and we'll complete the purchase through my Etsy site.

Beads range in price from $4-6, depending on style and size.